Cincinnati Reds – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-08-19T15:40:31Z WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dietrich, Casali To Begin Rehab Assignments]]> 2019-08-19T04:51:10Z 2019-08-19T04:51:10Z
  • Two injured Reds are working their way back to the club, as manager David Bell told reporters (including Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that Derek Dietrich will begin a Triple-A rehab assignment on Monday, while catcher Curt Casali starts a rehab assignment of his own on Tuesday.  Both players could be back in time for the Reds’ series against the Pirates that begins on Friday.  Dietrich hit the IL due to left shoulder inflammation on August 5, while this will actually be Casali’s second rehab stint since first being placed on the IL on July 18 with a right knee sprain.  Casali’s previous assignment was halted after two games due to soreness in his left hamstring.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Reds Place Joey Votto On IL]]> 2019-08-18T17:24:05Z 2019-08-18T16:42:45Z The Reds announced today they have placed first baseman Joey Votto on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain. Brian O’Grady has been recalled to replace Votto on the 25-man roster.

    So continues a shockingly difficult season for the former NL MVP. Votto’s .262/.352/.410 line is the first below-average offensive performance of his career. In an era where seemingly every hitter is a threat to launch 20 home runs, Votto’s power has taken a massive dip over the past two seasons, as he’s sitting on 12 homers for the second consecutive year. As recently as 2017, though, Votto hit 36 homers and was arguably the Senior Circuit’s best hitter.

    While Votto still has elite plate discipline (albeit not quite to the levels he once did), that lack of impact has to be concerning to Cincinnati, which still owes him $107MM over the next four seasons. There’s reason to believe the 35 year-old can still be a valuable player (projections, at least, believe he’s still a quality hitter based on his track record), the end of that extension certainly doesn’t seem favorable for an organization finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after a difficult decade.

    O’Grady is a 27 year-old first baseman with five career MLB plate appearances, so he’s unsurprisingly not near the top of any Reds’ farm rankings. Nevertheless, he’s had a strong run at Triple-A the past year and a half.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Eugenio Suarez Suffers Sprained Thumb]]> 2019-08-17T03:13:59Z 2019-08-17T03:13:59Z
  • Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez departed the team’s loss to St. Louis on Friday with a left thumb sprain, per an announcement from Cincinnati. X-rays came back negative on Suarez, who’s day-to-day. The big-hitting 28-year-old’s production has taken steps back this season compared to 2018. However, Suarez has still slashed a more-than-respectable .259/.341/.530 with 33 home runs in 504 PA, further justifying the Reds’ decision to hand him a seven-year, $66MM extension prior to last season.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Reds Select Joel Kuhnel’s Contract]]> 2019-08-15T19:34:32Z 2019-08-15T19:24:25Z The Reds have selected the contract of right-hander Joel Kuhnel from Triple-A Louisville, and also called up righty Matt Bowman from their top affiliate, the club announced (Twitter link).  Kuhnel and Bowman will take the roster spots of righty Sal Romano, who was optioned to Louisville, and Jared Hughes, who was claimed off waivers by the Phillies.

    This will be the 24-year-old Kuhnel’s first taste of the big leagues, coming a little over three years after being the Reds’ 11th-round pick in the 2016 draft.  Kuhnel pitched in both Double-A and Triple-A for the first time in 2019, quickly moving up the ladder thanks to a combined 2.18 ERA, 8.4 K/9, and 3.13 K/BB rate over 53 2/3 relief innings. ranks Kuhnel as the 24th-best prospect in Cincinnati’s farm system, noting that “his fastball touches triple-digits with ease and he mixes in an 89-93 mph slider and a low-90s changeup.”

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Phillies Claim Jared Hughes]]> 2019-08-15T20:33:00Z 2019-08-15T19:19:09Z The Phillies announced that righty Jared Hughes has been claimed off waivers from the Reds.  To make room on the 40-man roster, the Phils placed right-hander Edubray Ramos on the 60-day injured list.

    In claiming Hughes, Philadelphia absorbs the roughly $531K still owed to the right-hander for the remainder of the season.  Hughes is in the last guaranteed season of a two-year, $4.5MM contract, though the Phillies have a club option on his services (for $3MM with a $250K buyout) for the 2020 season.  For the present, Hughes is a relatively low-cost pickup for a Phillies team that has sorely needed some help for its injury-riddled bullpen, though Hughes hasn’t been in the best of form in recent weeks.

    After an outstanding debut year in Cincinnati that saw him post a 1.94 ERA over 78 2/3 innings, Hughes came back to earth in 2019, posting a 4.10 ERA, 6.3 K/9, and 1.79 K/BB rate over 48 1/3 frames.  The extreme ground-ball pitcher has continued to keep the ball out of the air, as evidenced by a 60.7% grounder rate, but he has suffered when batters have gotten some arc — Hughes has a 20% homer/fly ball rate, far above his 12.3% career average.

    Despite the extra homers, however, Hughes only really started to run into some struggles recently.  He had a 2.88 ERA as late as July 24 before enduring a nightmarish inning against the Rockies on July 26 that saw him allow six runs.  That began a stretch of six outings that saw Hughes post a 10.57 ERA over 7 2/3 innings of work, with as many walks (five) as strikeouts, and not a single home run allowed to account for that damage.  Hughes also served a three-game suspension for his role in the already-infamous brawl between the Reds and Pirates on July 30.

    The Reds have been one of the league’s more active teams since the trade deadline, particularly on the pitching front.  Cincinnati claimed Kevin Gausman off waivers from the Braves, signed veterans Brad Boxberger, Junichi Tazawa and Tim Collins to minor league contracts, and parted ways with Hughes and David Hernandez.  Since it seemed Hughes was no longer in the club’s plans for 2020, the Reds save a bit of cash by letting him go to the Phillies now rather than paying a buyout at season’s end.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jose Iglesias Interested In Re-Signing With Reds]]> 2019-08-15T05:51:59Z 2019-08-15T05:51:59Z Jose Iglesias has been an effective pickup at a low price for the Reds, who inked the former Boston and Detroit shortstop to a minor league contract last winter. Although he had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal, Iglesias earned a spot on the Reds’ roster and a $2.5MM salary coming into the season. The 29-year-old has since turned into a starter for Cincinnati, where he has batted .290/.321/.417 with a career-high eight home runs in 390 plate appearances.

    It’s possible the slick-fielding Iglesias’ output this year will be enough to convince a team to sign him to a major league pact prior to next season. Whether or not that happens, Iglesias would like to stay in Cincy, he explained to Mark Sheldon of

    “We haven’t gotten deep into that conversation yet. It’s going to happen soon, I guess,” Iglesias said. “Man, I love this group. That’s all I can say. This is where I belong. I don’t know, it’s totally out of my hands after that. I’ve enjoyed every single day I’ve come to the ballpark and leading by example, helping the younger players, and I’m very, very happy to be here.”

    The Reds are also open to continuing their relationship with Iglesias, with president of baseball operations Dick Williams telling Sheldon that the club “could have any combination of (Jose) Peraza, (Freddy) Galvis and Iglesias on the team next year. None currently have guaranteed contracts, but we have interest in all of them as well as control over some of them, and we’ll evaluate how the pieces best fit together.”

    Peraza, Galvis and Iglesias are currently part of a Reds middle infield mix that also includes Josh VanMeter, Kyle Farmer and the injured Derek Dietrich. Among Peraza, Galvis and Iglesias, the former has posted the least productive 2019. After racking up encouraging numbers last year, Peraza has only hit .241/.287/.355 in 321 trips to the plate this season. He’s on a $2.775MM salary and controllable via arbitration two more times. Galvis, just claimed from the Blue Jays on waivers this week, has a $5.5MM club option (or a $1MM buyout) for 2020. This has been a respectable campaign for the 29-year-old switch-hitter, owner of a .274/.305/.456 slash with 19 homers over 479 PA.

    With everyone from the above group looking like candidates to return next season, the Reds once again appear as if they’ll have no shortage of in-house middle infield choices. However, Cincinnati could nonetheless seek higher-upside possibilities than Iglesias and the rest during the winter, when Williams and general manager Nick Krall figure to make an earnest attempt to construct a playoff-caliber roster. The Reds (56-63) have made obvious strides this year, but they’re still on pace for their sixth straight sub-.500 season, leaving room for improvement in their middle infield and elsewhere.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reds Claim Freddy Galvis]]> 2019-08-12T17:34:05Z 2019-08-12T17:09:58Z The Reds have claimed shortstop Freddy Galvis off waivers from the Blue Jays, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports.

    This is the second notable waiver claim in the past week for the Reds, who are taking advantage of a system now devoid of an August trade deadline in an attempt to bolster their roster. The Reds grabbed right-hander Kevin Gausman off waivers from the Braves last Monday.

    Gausman and Galvis could boost the Reds’ playoff chances this year – they’re five games back of a wild-card spot right now – and will be able to contribute to the club in 2020. In Galvis’ case, he’s on a $4MM salary this year, which the Reds will have to assume the rest of, and can be controlled with a $5.5MM club option (or a $1MM buyout) next season.

    Also a former Phillie and Padre, the durable, switch-hitting Galvis, 29, has slashed a respectable .267/.299/.444 (93 wRC+) with 18 home runs and 1.4 fWAR in 473 plate appearances this year. He was expendable to the Blue Jays, who have seen youngsters Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio come up from the minors this season to grab a stranglehold on their middle infield spots.

    The Reds’ middle infield doesn’t boast the type of promise the Blue Jays’ does, on the other hand. Free agent-to-be Jose Iglesias has been dealing with a biceps injury, which has left shortstop of late to the struggling Jose Peraza, and the light-hitting Iglesias’ offensive numbers have largely cratered since a decent start over the season’s first couple months. Meanwhile, having traded Scooter Gennett to the Giants at last month’s deadline, the Reds have turned to a combination of Peraza, Josh VanMeter, Kyle Farmer and Derek Dietrich at the keystone in the past couple weeks. Perhaps Galvis will also factor in at second, though he has spent almost all of his career at short since debuting in 2012.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    George Miller <![CDATA[Reds Sign Junichi Tazawa To Minor-League Deal]]> 2019-08-11T20:42:44Z 2019-08-11T20:15:46Z The Cincinnati Reds have added veteran right-handed pitcher Junichi Tazawa on a minor-league contract, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. He’ll be sent to Double-A Chattanooga and will be added to the minor-league injured list.

    The 33-year-old Tazawa has yet to appear in a Major League game in 2019, with his only affiliated action coming in a brief stint with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate before he was released in July. In 19 games, he worked to an even 4.00 ERA, striking out 17 batters in 18 innings of work. He last appeared in the Majors with the Angels in 2018.

    Needless to say, the veteran is far removed from his stellar years in Boston, which earned him a hefty two-year contract in Miami, an ill-advised move in hindsight. During that Marlins stint and most recently with the Angels, Tazawa’s velocity declined markedly from his peak years, bottoming out at 91.9 mph in September of 2018.

    At 33, Tazawa will have a chance to revitalize his career and crack a Major League bullpen. A reasonably strong performance in Triple-A suggests that there’s something left in the tank, but Tazawa will need to output sustained success in the Reds’ system before getting another chance in the big leagues.

    George Miller <![CDATA[Reds Release David Hernandez]]> 2019-08-11T19:14:04Z 2019-08-11T17:56:45Z The Reds have released right-handed pitcher David Hernandez, according to The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans. Hernandez cleared waivers after he was designated for assignment on Friday.

    Hernandez has seen his ERA balloon to an unpleasant 8.02 over the last month, a far cry from the 4.15 mark he carried into late June. After surrendering 5 home runs over his last 4 2/3 innings pitched, he was designated for assignment, effectively ending his Reds tenure.

    Following his release, Hernandez will hit free agency at age 34 with 648 2/3 Major League innings under his belt. Though his recent performance doesn’t leave much room for optimism, there are some promising indicators that could earn the veteran another chance on a minor-league contract. Per Statcast, Hernandez’s hard-hit rate ranks in the 61st percentile, and while his sheer velocity has dipped to below-average levels, his fastball spin rate stacks up favorably against others’, no doubt contributing to a solid 26.8% strikeout rate.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Reds Designate David Hernandez]]> 2019-08-09T19:56:41Z 2019-08-09T19:47:27Z The Reds have designated veteran hurler David Hernandez, per a club announcement (h/t’s Mark Sheldon, on Twitter). He’ll be replaced on the active roster by fellow righty reliever Sal Romano.

    For most of the season, Hernandez has underperformed in the results department while carrying sparkling strikeout-versus-walk numbers. Through the end of June, he owned a 46:11 K/BB ratio over 35 2/3 innings.

    Things have gone south since late June, however. Over his past dozen appearances, Hernandez has allowed a whopping 22 earned runs on 23 base hits, including five home runs.

    Hernandez does still carry a strong 14.7% swinging-strike rate for the season. But his struggles have coincided with a noticeable drop in his average four-seam fastball velocity.

    While Hernandez is earning only $2.5MM this year, it’s a bit difficult to imagine the remainder of the contract being claimed given the depth of the issues of late. If he clears waivers, he would be eligible to keep his guarantee while still electing free agency and choosing another organization.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Acquire Joe Mantiply From Reds]]> 2019-08-09T15:10:33Z 2019-08-09T15:03:29Z The Yankees have acquired left-hander Joe Mantiply from the Reds for cash considerations, per an announcement from New York. Mantiply will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

    This is the second deal we’ve seen this week in a new MLB landscape that no longer includes an August waiver deadline. Unsurprisingly, it’s a rather minor move – one that will deliver a player who wasn’t on Cincinnati’s 40-man roster to New York’s top minors team. It’ll be the second run with the Yankees for Mantiply, who pitched in Scranton in 2017.

    Now 28, Mantiply entered the pros as a 27th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He briefly cracked Detroit’s roster in 2016, throwing 2 2/3 innings, but that’s the extent of his big league experience. Mantiply has fared nicely in Triple-A ball, though. He has amassed 117 1/3 innings of 2.99 ERA pitching with 7.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 during his time at the minors’ highest level.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reds Outright Blake Trahan To Triple-A]]> 2019-08-09T00:07:19Z 2019-08-09T00:04:11Z
  • The Reds announced that infielder Blake Trahan has been outrighted to Triple-A Louisville after clearing waivers.  Trahan was designated for assignment earlier this week.  The 25-year-old has spent much of his season at Louisville already, hitting only .230/.280/.324 over 323 plate appearances, continuing Trahan’s struggles at the plate during his five-year pro career (which included 11 games for the Reds at the big league level in 2018).
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reds, Brad Boxberger Agree To Minor League Deal]]> 2019-08-06T21:34:30Z 2019-08-06T21:34:30Z The Reds have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran righty Brad Boxberger, tweets C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. It’s a full-circle moment for Boxberger, who was drafted by Cincinnati with the No. 43 overall pick of the 2009 draft.

    Boxberger, now 31, never pitched for the Reds in the Majors before being included alongside Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso and Edinson Volquez in the blockbuster deal that sent Mat Latos to Cincinnati. There’s no guarantee that Boxberger will get the opportunity to do so now, although one can easily envision him being added to the big league roster as a September call-up — if not at some point this month.

    Boxberger began the season with the Royals and got out to a rocky start. The former AL saves leader — 41 with the 2015 Rays — was clobbered for a 7.30 ERA in 12 1/3 March/April innings, although he rebounded with just three runs allowed in 9 1/3 frames the following month. Even as Boxberger’s ERA dropped, however, he posted questionable K/BB numbers out of the Kansas City bullpen. He was ultimately designated for assignment on June 26 and released on July 1.

    From there, Boxberger went on to sign a minor league deal with the Nats and toss 8 2/3 innings with just one run allowed for their Double-A club. However, Washington cut Boxberger loose over the weekend rather than giving him a look in the big leagues — the Nationals acquired three relievers at the trade deadline — leaving Boxberger to search for a new opportunity.

    Boxberger will bring a career 3.59 ERA, 11.4 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, 1.24 HR/9 and 77 saves with him back to the Reds organization, although most of his success came with the Padres and Rays from 2012-15. Over his past 133 2/3 innings, Boxberger has a 4.44 ERA with a 160-to-79 K/BB ratio.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Reds Place Derek Dietrich On IL, Select Brian O’Grady, Designate Blake Trahan]]> 2019-08-05T20:22:24Z 2019-08-05T19:43:29Z The Reds announced a series of moves today, driven by ongoing shoulder inflammation for infielder Derek Dietrich. He’ll head to the 10-day injured list.

    To fill the opening, the Cincinnati organization selected the contract of first baseman/outfielder Brian O’Grady. That necessitated a 40-man opening, which was created by designating infielder Blake Trahan for assignment.

    It isn’t known how long the Redlegs expect to go without Dietrich, who has been in a cold spell for some time now. He remains a key piece for the team, particularly after Scooter Gennett was sent packing at the deadline.

    In Dietrich’s steady, O’Grady will receive his first shot at the majors. The 27-year-old has appeared in exactly 100 games this year at Triple-A, slashing .277/.351/.562 and popping 27 long balls. That’s a big power outbreak for the former eighth-round draft pick, even after accounting for the wild offensive environment in the International League.

    As for the 25-year-old Trahan, who received a cup of coffee last year, the bat just hasn’t come around. He’s carrying an ugly .230/.280/.324 line in 323 plate appearances at the highest level of the minors. The 2015 third-rounder has failed to produce at a league-average rate in the upper minors in prior seasons.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reds Claim Kevin Gausman]]> 2019-08-05T18:02:14Z 2019-08-05T18:00:45Z 1:00pm: The teams have announced the move. Atlanta also announced that Mike Foltynewicz is up from Triple-A Gwinnett, so he’ll take Gausman’s spot in the rotation.

    12:25pm: The Reds have claimed right-hander Kevin Gausman off outright waivers from the Braves, reports Jeff Passan of (via Twitter). That’s not to be mistaken with the now-defunct revocable August trade waivers, to be clear. The claim means that Gausman is now a member of the Reds, who by claiming him are agreeing to take on the remainder of the right-hander’s $9.35MM salary — a sum of about $2.815MM between now and season’s end.

    Cincinnati is obviously banking on a return to form following a change of scenery, as Gausman is mired in the worst season of his big league career. The former No. 4 overall draft pick (Orioles, 2012) joined Atlanta last season in a deadline trade that saw Atlanta take on the remainder of Darren O’Day’s salary while also shipping out international bonus allotments and minor leaguers Brett Cumberland, JC Encarnacion, Bruce Zimmermann and Evan Phillips.

    Gausman performed admirably down the stretch in 2018 and was a big part of the Braves’ rotation (2.87 ERA in 59 2/3 innings), but he’s been among the league’s least effective pitchers in 2019. Through 80 innings, he’s pitched to a 6.19 earned run average with 9.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.35 HR/9 and a career-low 37 percent ground-ball rate.

    There’s little denying that Gausman has had his share of poor fortune in 2019. His .345 average on balls in play is well north of both his career mark (.313) and the league average (.299), and his 59.3 percent strand rate appears fluky and due for some positive regression toward his lifetime mark of 74.1 percent. Fielding-independent metrics peg him as a candidate for considerable improvement (4.20 FIP, 4.40 SIERA, 4.47 xFIP).

    Gausman’s average fastball velocity (93.8 mph) is down from its 95 mph peak, however, and he’s allowing line drives at a career-worst 24.7 percent clip. Opposing hitters are barreling up Gausman’s offerings at a higher rate than ever before, per Statcast, and the increased number of hard-hit balls in the air has come back to bite him.

    The Reds don’t appear to have an immediate need for starting pitching, with Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Sonny Gray, Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood all in the rotation at the moment. It’s possible that Cincinnati could utilize Gausman out of the bullpen or deploy a six-man rotation to keep their arms fresh down the stretch.

    The move could very well have been made with an eye toward 2020 as well — as was the case with their acquisition of Bauer. Gausman is controllable via arbitration for the third and final time this winter, although at present he looks like a potential non-tender candidate. Still, perhaps a strong showing to the season will convince the Cincinnati front office that Gausman is deserving of the $10MM+ salary he’d command in arbitration this offseason. If he is able to return to form, Gausman would slot in fourth behind the formidable trio of Bauer, Castillo and Gray.